Jan, 7 Proclaimed Day of Fast, Prayer; British Government Protests Sentences

Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits today proclaimed Jan. 7 as a day of fast and prayer for the Jews sentenced in Leningrad and Soviet Jewry in general. Synagogues in London and other cities will be open for prayers from early morning until the fast ends at night, the Chief Rabbi’s office announced. A public meeting to protest the Leningrad trial will be held here Wednesday, according to an announcement by the Universities Committee for Soviet Jewry. It will be addressed by Gideon Hausner, the Israeli lawyer who prosecuted Adolf Eichmann and Tina Brodetskaya, a Jewess from Russia who was permitted to leave after a prolonged quest for an exit visa. Twenty-eight major Jewish organizations met here today under the aegis of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to discuss the situation arising from the Leningrad trial. The meeting unanimously adopted a statement warning against “recent anti-Semitic developments in the Soviet Union that can only be regarded as the most serious threat to Jewish citizens.”

Yesterday, the British government sent a formal expression of concern to Moscow over the sentences imposed on the Leningrad defendants. The Soviet Ambassador was. invited to the Foreign Office yesterday morning where he was received by Sir Dennis Greenhill, Permanent Undersecretary, in connection with the Leningrad trial. The envoy reportedly promised to convey the British view to his government immediately. The Soviet Embassy took the unusual step of announcing the Leningrad verdict in its London news service. Sir Dennis reportedly saw the Soviet Ambassador on instructions by telephone from Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home who is vacationing in Scotland. Sources here said the government’s action resulted from representations made to the Foreign Office by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. A Catholic leader, John Cardinal Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster in Britain, sent a telegram to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Nikodin, asking him to “implore the Soviet government to show clemency to our Jewish brothers.”

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